Friday, 19 June 2015

Mangaroa Valley

We’ve been wanting to repeat our ride in Whitemans Valley for a while, but somehow something always got in the way. On Wednesday, we finally did go in that direction, but instead of riding Whitemans Valley, we rode the Mangaroa Valley loop, a bit further north.

We killed two birds with one stone, as it were, as we had to take the battery of my e-bike up to Daryl’s Wellington Electric Bikes shop in Upper Hutt. It had developed a fault and wouldn’t charge up. Hopefully Daryl will be able to get us a replacement.

We decided to bike to the Mangaroa Valley, because – John thought – the hill up to the valley was not as steep as the one into Whiteman’s Valley, and he would be riding his regular bike, while he let me use his battery so that I could ride my electric bike. Isn’t he a gentleman?

As it turned out, the Mangaroa Valley Road was not easier to climb than the Wallaceville Road into Whitemans Valley, and John had to get off a couple of times to walk on the worst bits. Meanwhile, I zoomed forth on my e-bike. Yeehaa! But I did stop to wait for him when he had to walk, needing to make sure he was OK.

While waiting, I took this photo, looking towards (probably) Maymorn.

Nearly at the top – looking towards Maymorn (I think)

It was a crisp winter’s day, and it had been very cold the night before. I was glad to see that the horses and Shetland ponies we came across were wearing blankets.

Horses and ponies wore blankets against the cold ...

… but these Suffolk sheep had their own woolly protection

I like the pattern of the rusty corrugated iron sheets on the roof of this old woolshed

Whereas Whitemans Valley was mainly flat and the road straight, the terrain in the Mangaroa Valley was gently undulating and the road more sinuous. Very enjoyable biking.

Winding road ahead

Looking across the valley (photo by John)

A tumbledown shed, with more beautiful rusty iron cladding (photo by John)

Same shed, different angle. A serious infestation of old man’s beard, I think (photo by John)

Soon after these photos, the road started to wind towards the Whitemans Valley junction, and down Wallaceville Road, taking us back to Upper Hutt. It had been quite a short ride – only 16 km – but it was nice to be out in the sunshine, as the forecast was promising more horrible weather for the next week or so.

Back in Upper Hutt, we went to the Expressions Gallery to look at the exhibition of 50 Greatest Photographs of National Geographic. A stunning exhibition, and well worth taking a drive to Upper Hutt for. Entry is free and the exhibition is on until 26 July.

Display for the National Geographic exhibition in the lobby of Expressions Gallery

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